Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The 2017 Enuffa.com Pro Wrestling Year-End Awards

Welcome to Enuffa.com's 4th Annual Year-End Awards! 


Man, what a strange year.  One major company soared to new creative and nearly unprecedented commercial heights (at least for the past twenty years), while the other engaged in one baffling, counterproductive decision after another, wasting arguably the strongest talent roster they've ever boasted.  Said company's developmental brand, seemingly on the verge of equaling its main roster a year ago, took a step back in 2017 after losing so many of its stars and being forced to rebuild.

Remember a couple years ago when we were worried about New Japan after they lost several top guys?  Yeah, that's all out the window.  New Japan Pro Wrestling delivered on every front in 2017, offering some of the most incredible matches anyone's ever seen, elevating multiple new stars and building one of the deepest rosters in years, and enjoying some of the biggest financial gains since the Great Muta era.  Not only that but NJPW's fanbase in North America is the largest it's ever been (the company promoted NJPW-only shows on American soil for the first time) and 2018 promises even more significant growth in that area.  Shows like WrestleKingdom 11 and Dominion were shining examples of what a stacked wrestling PPV should be, while the G1 Climax tournament delivered easily a dozen Match of the Year candidates.  November saw the company deliver a bombshell revelation, with the announcement that 18-year WWE stalwart Chris Jericho was jumping ship to New Japan, marking one of the most US-impactful NJPW-related stories in history.  With the card set for WrestleKingdom 12, including one of the company's all-time biggest main events, we could see the largest Tokyo Dome crowd since the company's heyday.  It's a very exciting time to be a New Japan fan.

On the other side of the Pacific, WWE took an incredibly stacked roster and used it in some of the most logic-defying ways imaginable.  At least once a month the company presented a head-scratching booking decision that cumulatively wore down fan enthusiasm, until by year's end the brand seemed about as uncool as 1999 WCW.  Let's take a look at some of WWE's more bumbling creative moves of the year, shall we?  I bet I can name at least one per month.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Movie Review & Discussion: Star Wars - The Last Jedi


Wellsir, my colleague Dan Moore and I have each seen the latest Star Wars epic, which has strangely proven a very divisive film with the fanbase (critics have near-unanimously praised it) due to its flouting so many of our expectations of where the saga was going.  Say what you will about this film, director Rian Johnson and his team definitely did not play it safe; where The Force Awakens was a comfortable, satisfying return to the Star Wars mythology, The Last Jedi was downright subversive.

Daniel, your thoughts on The Last Jedi?

***SPOILERS AHEAD!***

Dan: Probably the most anticipated movie for me since...The Force Awakens. I was very much looking forward to this one. And I was left a tad disappointed. As usual, I took my seat and got all hot and bothered when the STAR WARS title hit and the music swelled (as did my pants). I got annoyed right away, as Star Wars dropped a "YOUR MOTHER" joke. In a galaxy far, far away, they seem to be getting old episodes of Def Comedy Jam transmitted to them. The humor in this flick felt more like a Marvel movie and less Star Wars. I thought they tried way too hard to throw in jokes that didn't belong.

We are then treated to a pretty badass space battle. It's got bombs, it's got explosions and then it's got...the longest, slowest chase scene in movie history. As the good guys are in their ships going 14 miles an hour, the bad guys chase them in ships that can only go 12 miles an hour. That's the rest of the movie. It's RIDICULOUS. You're telling me the entire First Order can't scrounge up a ship that can catch up to them? It's beyond absurd. It's such a lazy plot point. They're not capable of destroying ONE cruiser that is JUST outside of firing range? That reeks of incompetence.


Justin: My overall first impression was "Wow, that's a lot to unpack."  This film took so many unexpected turns I'm still not sure what to make of it all.  It'll take multiple viewings to digest, but my initial reaction is decidedly positive.  This wasn't the warm & fuzzy film The Force Awakens was.  Instead Johnson turned everything on its ear, which has made a lot of people very uncomfortable.

I forget the "Your mother" joke, but I agree some of the humor in this film felt like Marvel's antics.  Overall it didn't bother me, but the one bit of forced humor that did get my goat was Luke looking forlornly at his lightsaber.....and then chucking it over his shoulder like an empty beer bottle.  This moment struck me as just completely wrong, like it belonged in a Mel Brooks movie.  I have to think they did numerous varying takes of this shot, and managed to pick the exact wrong one.  Luke should've looked down sadly at the lightsaber for a moment and then defeatedly let it drop to the ground at his side before walking away.  That would've fit the tone of this broken character.  I hope for the Blu Ray release they change that take.

That aside, the extended chase didn't bother me all that much.  Yes it was odd that the First Order would just continue following them, but a) they know the Resistance cruiser can't go anywhere without being followed and b) they know it'll run out of fuel eventually.  Plus I get the impression a character like General Hux would relish the final chase a while before killing the Resistance dead.  Could the screenwriters have come up with something more creative for these characters to do while Rey, Kylo, etc. do the main stuff?  Sure.  But this didn't bug me really.  It's not all that different from the Star Destroyers chasing the Millennium Falcon for half of Empire's running time.


Dan: The slow chase scene just bothered me so much because I cannot envision a scenario where an admiral would have told Vader "Yo, boss, they're like 90 feet away, we have no idea what to do" and that they'd just keep following slowly.  It's a dopey plot contrivance. You can do this sort of cat and mouse thing with a space ship avoiding another space ship quite well, actually. It's called Wrath of Khan. But watching these bad guys chase along at a steady pace is boring.

I agree with that lightsaber toss over his shoulder. Just doesn't make sense for that scene. Some of the choices they made for Luke I just didn't care for. I hate that he was away from the main cast and conflict for the entire movie. I hate that we didn't get more info about his last 30 years. I liked how he was depressed and basically done with the world after realizing the Jedi did more harm than good. But I wanted more Luke. I wanted a kickass fight scene with him. Maybe a bit more than a 10-second conversation with his sister. And for fuck's sake, why didn't he hug Chewie when he saw him?


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Music Review: Eminem - Revival


Anyone who knows me well, is aware that I am often slow on the uptake when it comes to certain musical acts.  I'll go years without an appreciation for a popular band or artist and then one day suddenly something clicks for me and I become obsessed with them.  It happened with Nine Inch Nails in 2009, it happened with Led Zeppelin and Rush in 2012, last year it was Stevie Wonder, and in 2017 it was Eminem.  Yes, that's right, a mere 18 years after Marshall Mathers took the world by storm, I became a huge fan.  So I'm a little behind, screw you.

I have historically not ever been a rap guy.  It's a genre that, by and large, I've found varying degrees of obnoxious.  But after Hamilton blew down that door I found myself much more accepting of the form, and with Eminem's viral anti-Trump freestyle video from the BET awards making the rounds I said to myself, "Ya know Justin, it might be time to give this fella an honest listen."  So I did, perusing his entire back catalog (2010's Recovery is my favorite album of his), and then discovering a couple months ago that he would be releasing a new album before the end of 2017.  Thus Revival, as it was to be called, became one of the most anticipated albums of the year for me.

But how is it?

Well, in keeping with much of Eminem's recent releases, the 45-year-old has tempered his lyrical venom on Revival, mostly offering a more restrained, somberly introspective approach than his outlandish, darkly comic early output.  Em's work has always been steeped in autobiography, but on the last few records and especially here, he attempts to make amends for some of his past transgressions. 

"Bad Husband" for example is a bittersweet ode to his ex-wife Kim (known to Mathers aficionados as his everpresent antagonistic muse) for his failures as a spouse ("Not bad people, just bad together"), featuring a poignant chorus hook from X Ambassadors.  Another such tune is the Cranberries-assisted "In Your Head," where he more or less apologizes to his daughter Hailey for thrusting her into the spotlight for so many years ("Hailie, baby, I didn't mean to make you eighty percent of what I rapped about").  Then there is the emotional one-two punch of the album's dovetailing closing tracks, "Castle" and "Arose," which deal with Em's drug overdose and road to recovery, while imagining what might've happened had he not made it out alive ("Consider the last four minutes as/That's the song I'd have sang to my daughters/If I'd have made it to the hospital/Less than two hours later").  This album is rife with melancholy self-examination, including the opening single "Walk on Water" (featuring Beyonce) wherein Eminem strips away the cocky stage persona he's built up for so long and becomes his own worst critic.

Eminem's signature rage is on display as well though; Revival features a pair of scathing political pieces, the first being a commentary on police brutality and racism called "Untouchable" ("You don't have to know our plans or what our intentions are/Our cards are close to our chest, you better show your hands/And put our minds more at ease/Or get shot in the thyroid, comply or die, boy"), the second a surprisingly hopeful but no less scornful rebuke of Donald Trump, "Like Home," featuring a sanguine chorus from Alicia Keys that hammers home the message that we as Americans will rise above this troubling time.  Even Em's verses, while taking Trump to task, ultimately carry a positive, patriotic spin that all listeners can relate to ("But you ain't ruining our country, punk/You won't take our pride from us/You won't define us").

Thursday, December 14, 2017

WWE Clash of Champions 2017 Preview & Predictions

We've come to the final WWE PPV of 2017, and what a limp across the finish line it promises to be.  Jeezus, this entire card screams "SKIP IT!"  Why couldn't Clash be a RAW PPV again this year?  There's WAY more going on over at the red brand.  Or, and here's an even better idea, don't do a December PPV.  Leave both brands 9 weeks to build up to the Royal Rumble, thus making it feel more special.  I don't know that I'll even watch this show, honestly, and I don't say that often.


But let's get to the picks.

***I'm leading still, with 68/96 (71%), Landon's right on my heels with 58/84 (69%), Dave's in third with 41/62 (66%), and Dan's in the basement with 58/96 (60%).***



Pre-Show match: Zack Ryder vs. Mojo Rawley


Christ, the team no one gave a shit about has now split so we can see a feud no one gives a shit about.  What a pointless feud.  On a show whose tag division is super thin as far as viable tandems, why break up an underdog babyface team you could use in a Young Stallions-type role?  Anyway, Zack is never getting another push, so there's no chance he wins this.

Justin: Mojo
Dan: Gronk
Landon: Mojo
Dave: Jesus Christ.  Mojo I guess.




The Bludgeon Brothers vs. Breezango


I like that they've repackaged Harper & Rowan.  Harper is one of the most wasted talents on the entire roster - he really should be getting the push Strowman's currently enjoying.  But I'll settle for him and Rowan destroying the entire tag division for a while.  Breezango is obviously getting crushed-- er, BLUDGEONED here.

Justin: The Bros
Dan: Mario Bros
Landon: Bludgeon, who managed to eke out a win against one of my favorite local wrestlers Colin Delaney on Smackdown.  Love me some Colin.
Dave: Bros




Smackdown Tag Team Championship Fatal 4-Way: The Usos vs. The New Day vs. Gable & Benjamin vs. Rusev & English


Oh good, another clusterfuck match.  This tag division needs a shakeup.  The Usos and New Day are the only two real contenders at the moment, with the Bludgeons soon to be added to the mix.  Gable & Benjamin is okay on paper but the magic was with Gable and Jordan.  Rusev and Aiden English??  Get the fuck outta here.

Justin: Usos retain
Dan: New Day gets 'em back
Landon: Usos
Dave: Usos



Monday, December 4, 2017

Landon Acclaims Paul Simon's "Stranger To Stranger"

This year, Paul Simon celebrated his 50th year as a musician. Which is absolutely ridiculous when you consider that he's been making new music semi-regularly for most of that time. It's been implied, sometime recently, that he's upset people don't like his new music at his concerts and only his classics. I really like some of Paul's new stuff, so I thought I'd help him along and try and get the word out about his most recent album...from last year. I never said I was in a hurry.



The first song of the album "The Werewolf" starts off as a nonsense song backed by Paul's now usual array of instruments. A variety of percussion and acoustic strings, helped along eventually by brass, gives the whole song a very primal feeling to it. The lyrics of the song take a realistic turn, however, when they turn on a dime to the nature of humanity. The greed and ignorance of the upper class, and the eventuality of humanity's self destruction are worked into the song easily, the beat and before mentioned feel of the song is never lost. A great opening song, that can either be digested for it's lyrics or enjoyed simply for the melody.

"Wristband" is a drastic turn from the both the instrumentation and tone. The song is simply the story of a musician who gets locked out of his venue, and the troubles he has trying to get in. I wouldn't be surprised if the first two verses were inspired by a similar event happening to Paul. We switch to a simpler array of a bass, drums, and trumpet for this song, which helps to put emphasis on all of Simon's lyrics. This is all until the third verse, when Paul turns to the issues the poorer children of the world have trying to be accepted at large. This comes off, after one has listened to the whole album, as a weak attempt to connect the song with the themes in the rest of the album. The same might be said for The Werewolf, only in that song the themes fit better and flow from the original topic easily, never thrown in haphazardly.

We get our first instrumental of the album with "The Clock," a simple string of notes played on a xylophone behind a clock's ticking. Nothing truly important to the album as a whole, but a good minute long break to help listeners find focus for what's coming next. In "Street Angel" we see the beginning of the album's overarching story. Much like "Wristband," it comes across more as an experience put to word. The titular street angel in the song comes off as a savant, as a child or young adult who fell through the cracks of society, spouting philosophies of life and his purpose here. The song is backed only by a simple arrangement of percussion and a capella sounds, leading listeners again to focus on the lyrics. The song ends implying the street angel has been taken to a hospital. The song works better as a part of a whole than a standalone, as we will see.

Which actually does not lead into "Stranger to Stranger." The track halts the narrative Paul had barely begun, to give us a dream-like song about the possibilities of love and happenstance. Maybe his intention was to create the feeling of a dream, as we transition from one scene of the story to the next. The song has a wonderfully done accompaniment of woodwinds and chimes creating a floating sense of relaxation, as the man himself very generously rambles about the nature of his relationship with someone. He asks, maybe the person or perhaps himself, if they would fall in love a second time if their meeting had been redone. If fate always meant for them to have the relationship they have, or if what they have is happenstance. It's a very emotionally grabbing piece I find myself putting on repeat for a few loops though before moving on.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Music Review: Sia - Everyday is Christmas


To start, a little something about me: I hate pop Christmas albums.  They generally scream "cynical money grab" and have little to no substance, undermining the joyous, wide-eyed naivete we're all supposed to feel this time of year.  And yet here's Everyday is Christmas, the new album of original Christmas-themed tunes from Sia, to evoke warm holiday spirit and kickstart your yuletide merriment.  And the songs are pretty damn good to boot.

The album's ten tracks are mostly light and fluffy like so much Christmas snow (back when it actually snowed on Christmas), but there are a few piano ballads as well, shades of her Some People Have Real Problems era.  It's nice to hear Sia bring back some of that stuff.

An early standout for me is the Darlene Love-esque "Candy Cane Lane," which features the bounce of "Baby Please Come Home" but also a darkly uncertain chorus for a song of this ilk.  Another is the melancholy "Snowman," whose lyrics seem to suggest a metaphorical love song: "Don't cry, snowman, don't leave me this way/A puddle of water can't hold me close, baby."  My only complaint about this track is its short running time; this is one of those choruses she could get away with repeating several times.  The album's apex for me is the ode to holiday boozin', "Ho Ho Ho," another springy track with another instantly infectious chorus hook.  You may have heard a snippet of this in JC Penney's Black Friday weekend TV ads.  The album peters a little in the second half, peaking with the title track, an oddly minor-keyed love song reminiscent of "Bird Set Free," where Sia proclaims to her love interest that "Everyday is Christmas when you're here with me/I'm safe in your arms, you're my angel, baby."   

At 33 minutes, Everyday is Christmas is a quick listen but worthy of multiple spins, as there's enough going on harmonically and instrumentally for new ear candy to reveal itself each time.  It's very telling of Sia's considerable songwriting ability that even an undemanding album like Everyday is Christmas still boasts memorable hooks and quality tunes.  This could've been a total throwaway record of gratiuitous covers just to cash in on the season, but it actually holds up as a solid album.  I don't think this marvelous talent is capable of a bad record.

I give the album *** out of *****.


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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Justice League Movie Review

by Dan Moore
@SouthieDanimal

Someone's missing...

I finally watched Justice League yesterday. As someone who didn't hate but didn't love Batman V Superman, I was somewhat looking forward to this one after watching the excellent Wonder Woman. So let's dive into this and check out the good and the bad. 


GOOD: Jason Momoa as Aquaman and Ezra Miller as the Flash. They both are given some time to develop a backstory and both are quite good in these roles. Momoa as a cocky Arthur Curry is perfect casting. He's funny and he's ready for combat. Plus he confuses my pants area...I'ma surprised by that. And Miller plays the Flash as a socially awkward nerdy guy. It's not the characterization I woulda gone with but dammit, the kid nailed. He's funny throughout the whole thing and really kills this role.


These two were awesome. 



BAD: Cyborg. Not Ray Fisher playing Cyborg, he's fine. Cyborg the actual character. There is essentially no explanation for why he's this shape shifting Iron Man type dude. They tell us he was in an accident and boom he's the T-1000. It's way too fast an origin. In fact...


BAD:...Way too fast origins. They give Flash, Aqua and Cyborg like ten minutes each to tell their stories. It's simply not enough time. The reason the Marvel movies work so well is we see those characters through the growing pains and how they become heroes. In this, it's all way too quick. Here's a fast guy who even tells Batman "I've never been in a fight" aaaaaaand now he's fighting flying demons. Here's a robot guy that doesn't even know how his robot body works aaaaaaand now he's shape shifting to make a laser gun. Without the proper setup for these guys and their powers, there's no individual arc for us to cheer on. It's simply "here's superheroes, cheer along" 


GOOD: SPOILER ALERT but not really. So Superman is back and they finally seem to understand how to do this character, at least a little bit better. I mean, it's strange for him to come back from the dead and lighten up, but whatevs, I'm glad Henry Cavill gets to play a real Superman. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

WWE Survivor Series 2017: I Hate This Family

Man, how awesome is this?  Wait, it's all gonna go to shit in ten minutes??

Well, just like last year's Survivor Series, this was a very good PPV that had a mindnumbingly stupid main event.  The problem is, unlike last year's main event which only took up 90 seconds of my time, this one took 33 minutes.  Brock Lesnar went from the worst match of the night in 2016 to the best match in 2017, while the men's elimination match took the opposite path.  What the hell is this company doing?  And for the love of shit, why is it necessary for these RAW vs. Smackdown shows to feature everyone clad in idiotic red and blue T-shirts?  We know who's on which show, dickheads.  All you need is for all the wrestlers to include red or blue in their normal ring gear.  Stop insulting me.

The show opened, smartly, with the six-man tag between two very over squads, The Shield and The New Day.  The crowd was into this and loved both teams (except Roman who got a smattering of "you still suck" chants).  Both trios worked hard and aside from a couple miscues (which seemed oddly prevalent on this show), threw together a very enjoyable 21-minute match which loads of false finishes and an actual ending that was a callback to an earlier spot.  After being thwarted earlier in the match, The Shield put it away with their signature triple powerbomb, but delivered it from the second rope.  If anything this match could've been maybe three minutes shorter, and it wasn't at the same level of the Shield's amazing 2014 matches with The Wyatts and Evolution.  But it was a hot opener with a big-fight feel and established The New Day as very worthy opponents for the dominant Shield.

If you didn't pick these guys to win, I dunno what to tell ya.

The women's elimination match was next, after a baffling backstage pep talk from Stephanie McMahon to her RAW team that once again made the actual women wrestlers look subservient to the boss's daughter.  I don't want to see McMahons on my TV screen anymore.  I'm sick to goddamn death of this family.  Anyway, the match itself got over 18 minutes and didn't feel like a sprint, but still felt a bit rushed.  Too many eliminations were too sudden, like Becky Lynch's unceremonious exit two minutes in.  Stop doing these surprise early eliminations, god damn you!  They aren't surprising if you do them every year.  From there we got a battle of the bulls, as Nia Jax and Tamina faced off.  Tamina won this round by repeatedly attacking Nia outside the ring and hitting her dad's Superfly splash on the floor, getting Nia counted out.  Bayley also fell to Tamina's splash, while Alicia Fox was the victim of a horrendous fast count by the ref.  Naomi had rolled her up and she was clearly supposed to kick out before being locked in a submission hold, but the referee counted 1...2-3 and basically pushed her out of the ring.  Someone fucked up.  It all boiled down to Nattie and Tamina vs. Asuka, allowing the Empress of Tomorrow to fully demonstrate her dominance by eliminating both opponents clean.  Not a great match but a good one that accomplished what it needed to.  Asuka is the woman of the hour.

Asuka's main roster push is back on track.

Friday, November 17, 2017

NXT TakeOver: WarGames Preview & Predictions

Oh man.......oh mama......it finally happened.......WWE is resurrecting WARGAMES!!!!


Nevermind that the new version of the rules doesn't make much sense and is yet another entry in the WWE Fixed Something That Wasn't Broke category, this is gonna be a lotta fun.  I've been a fan of WarGames since I first bought the NWA Great American Bash '87 tape back in the day.  The visual of two rings surrounded by a steel cage with ten guys bloodying each other senseless for 25 minutes was the stuff of legend.  I'm not sure how NXT will handle the blood situation; maybe there will be a few "accidental on purpose" hardways.  Regardless, I'm looking forward to this main event.  But as always, NXT has a host of other intriguing matchups this Saturday, so let's take a look...


First off, there's a dark match between UK Champ Pete Dunne and Johnny Gargano, and I'm baffled this isn't on the special.  That would probably steal the goddamn show.  Christ.



Kassius Ohno vs. Lars Sullivan


I know next to nothing about Sullivan, so it's hard to give much of an educated opinion on this one, but Ohno will work hard to make him look good I'm sure.  Since Sullivan is 303 pounds you know WWE officials are salivating at the idea of a new monster character.  I'm guessing Ohno's only here to give him a good win.

Justin: Lars
Landon: Sullivan





Aleister Black vs. The Velveteen Dream


Former Tough Enough contestant Patrick Clark will be the latest to get bludgeoned by Black, on his rise to the NXT main event scene.  Not much more to say about this; it's obviously another Black showcase match.

Justin: Aleister Black
Landon: Black is probably being groomed to take the title from Adam Cole, or he'll be ready very soon.





NXT Women's Championship: Ember Moon vs. Kairi Sane vs. Nikki Cross vs. Peyton Royce


I'm looking forward to this.  Asuka's departure left a vacant NXT Women's Title, and this is the match to fill that vacancy.  As I see it, this is really a two-horse race.  Royce has no chance of winning, nor should she, Nikki is the spoiler candidate here but won't end up taking it.  It's realistically between Ember Moon, who was Asuka's heir apparent, and Kairi Sane, who, like Asuka, is a very accomplished Japanese import.  I think it's too soon for Sane to win the belt, and it would look too much like they were just plugging her into Asuka's spot.  Ember Moon should finally capture the title and get a decent run before Sane eventually dethrones her.

Justin: Ember
Landon: Ember


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Awesomely Shitty Movies: Batman v Superman

Welcome to Enuffa.com!  It's been a while, but the time has come to resurrect the old favorite, Awesomely Shitty Movies!  Some of you know the drill, but for those who don't, ASM is where I examine the good and bad elements of some piece of cinematic tripe.  

And today's entry certainly falls into that category.  That's right, it's Zack Snyder's divisive creation, the long-awaited Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice!


This 151-minute superhero mashup marks the first time in history that Metropolis's messiah and Gotham's masked vigilante share the big screen, and I can assure you it ain't to swap gazpacho recipes.  Nope, it's to pummel the ever-lovin' shit out of each other (and also to set up the Avengers-esque Justice League movie in 2017....mostly it's for that reason actually).

Henry Cavill is back as Kal-El, the brooding, reluctant alien hero from Man of Steel who sorta looks like Superman but doesn't share any of his character traits.  In Batman's cape and cowl this time is Ben Affleck, who might just have the greatest superhero jaw in the history of the world, and who is also ENORMOUS in this film.  Huge.  Like, did anyone check who's supplying his "vitamins?"  Plus we have Israeli model Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor(??).  So let's get to it - what worked and what didn't?



The Awesome (For the purposes of this column I use that term loosely)


Visuals

As with most of Zack Snyder's work, the visuals here are super slick, very stylized, and moody.  Just like Man of Steel, the color palette in BvS is very muted and there are a lot of CG enhancements, but the costumes look badass and there's plenty of eye-candy.

Lotta cool-looking stuff in this movie


Batfleck

For all the complaining when he was cast, Ben Affleck makes a pretty good Batman.  It helps that his costume is based on Frank Miller's wonderful version of the suit, giving Affleck a fearsome, bulky appearance.  His Bruce Wayne is older, more grizzled, more cynical, and more ruthless.  Affleck plays possibly the most tortured screen version of the character to date, who's given up trying to be a normal dude, even letting Wayne Manor fall into decay and settling for the modernized guest house nearby (This was a nice touch I thought, and served as interesting symbolism for the character).  Also his electronically-enhanced "Bat-voice" is way cool-sounding and I think they've finally found the right way to execute that.  All that said though, I still never fully felt I was watching Batman.  I was always at least slightly aware it was Ben Affleck in a Batsuit.  But overall no real complaints about Batfleck.

Possibly the best-looking cinematic Bat-suit



Some Superman Scenes

Cavill as Superman is still monosyllabic and therefore almost impossible to identify with.  Aside from his look (which is perfect), Cavill has still not proved to me that he's the correct choice for Kal-El, nor does he even bother playing Clark Kent as a different character.  To all those people who say Lois should know Clark and Supes are the same person because it's unrealistic for her not to figure it out, I say this: If Superman doesn't act any differently as Clark Kent, isn't it more unrealistic for everyone else (including the World's Greatest Detective Batman) not to put it together?

However unlike Man of Steel, BvS at least provides Clark a few scenes where we feel a little something for him, such as the one after he fails to stop a bombing and expresses to Lois that maybe he wasn't meant to be a hero.  This idea doesn't really get explored further, but the scene itself was well done.



Frank Miller Influence

This movie is FULL of visual references to Miller's The Dark Knight Returns.  I already mentioned the Batsuit lifted right out of Miller's artwork, plus the armored Batsuit (which looks INCREDIBLE in movie form), much of the Bats vs. Supes fight itself, and some unrelated moments I'll get to in a bit.  It was cool to see Miller's iconic version of Batman brought to life.

I knew this looked familiar....

WWE Survivor Series 2017 Preview & Predictions


Wow.  What a bizarre build to this year's Survivor Series.  The card has changed roughly 78 times since the matches were first announced four weeks ago, and amazingly the show went from a surefire stinker to one of the best on-paper lineups of the year.  That doesn't mean of course that WWE won't fuck this up, they've demonstrated on many occasions their uncanny ability to botch something as simple as bagged salad mix.  But my optimism for this show being good has probably tripled in the last two weeks.  I went from full-on dreading it to actually having hope that this will be on par with last year's surprisingly excellent Survivor Series.  While I do think the champion vs. champion gimmick is dumb overall, three of the four matches are now very promising.  And while the RAW vs. Smackdown nonsense is forced and drivelous, the two elimination matches have the potential to be great.

So let's take a look at the matchups and see what makes sense.

***I'm leading still, with 62/88 (70%), Landon's in second with 51/76 (67%), Dave's in third with 36/54 (66.666666%), and Dan's in the rear (heh....rear...) with 54/88 (61%).***



Pre-Show Cruiserweight Championship: Enzo Amore vs. Kalisto


Thank Christ this got bumped to the pre-show.  What a pointless match, feud, and title.  This division is deader than dead.  If anyone's tuning in specifically for the 205 Live stuff, I feel sorry for you.

Justin: Enzo retains.  Who gives a shit?
Dan: I guess.  He stinks.
Landon: Enzo.  Fuck this company.
Dave: My god, I don't care.  Enzo I guess.





Champion vs. Champion: The Miz vs. Baron Corbin


This is the one main card match I'm really not at all interested in.  Who fuckin' cares about this?  Both guys are heels, only one is good at his job, and there's literally nothing at stake.  This match should get as little time as possible.  Corbin really should've dropped the belt to a rising babyface star prior to this (Not you Sin Cara!), so there'd be something to care about.

Justin: Miz gets a cheap win
Dan: COME ON MIZZY!
Landon: Miz.  Fuck this company.
Dave: Miz rules.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

2017 World Tag League Preview


Well...This is certainly underwhelming. Usually there's some fun to be had out of the World Tag League, but this year the rosters seem really barren. Naito is vacationing in Mexico, Kenny is off in the Eliteverse, and I can only assume that Okada and Tanahashi are going into two of Lord Frieza's Medical Machines for the next month. So what we're left with is a handful of established tag teams, odd faction amalgamations, and a few last minute cobbled together teams that fill out a weak Tag Tournament. But, there's still some joy that can be found in all this. What's good, what's bad, and what'll work? That's what we're here for.



A Block

Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens (Bullet Club)

Landon: I love Chase Owens and he deserves to do better than he will.

Justin: This here is the Bullet Club C-Team.  They won't be winning the tournament.



EVIL and SANADA (Los Ingobernables de Japon)

Landon: I think that EVIL and SANADA are going all the way. They're at least sweeping this block. They have nothing better going for the next few months, so they could drop the 6-Man belts (sorry BUSHI) and be a proper native top heavyweight tag team.

Justin: Evil and Sanada have to be one of the two or three favorites to win the whole thing.  They aren't involved in a feud right now and they need something good to do for the Dome.  A tag title match would do nicely.



Hangman Page and Yujiro Takahashi (Bullet Club)

Justin: And this is the Bullet Club D-Team.  Next?

Landon: You know at least they were a tag team before literally these announcements. I know they won't go far, but Yujiro and Hangman have both stepped up their efforts in their respective home companies. Maybe they'll show promise here.


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

ESPN 30 For 30 Documentary Review: Ric Flair Nature Boy

by Dan Moore
@SouthieDanimal

Last night, ESPN premiered their newest sports documentary about the stylin', profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, kiss-stealing, wheelin' n' dealin' son of a gun Ric Flair.


This man is not only a wrestling legend but he has transcended that stardom in the squared circle to become one of life's superstars. Everyone knows who Ric Flair is. Everyone knows what his bedazzled robes look like. And of course we all know his signature catchphrase--'WOOOOOO!'

But what about the man? This documentary gets in to the man...kind of. It's definitely more about the playboy persona of RIC FLAIR WORLD CHAMPION but it does give some insight into Richard Fliehr, the adpoted son of strict, tie wearing parents. It delves into how young Richard loved wrestling but his father wanted nothing to do with it...and that's it. It's barely five minutes of talking about Ric's childhood and lack of interest from his parents. There's clearly more to the story there as you can see it affected Ric greatly but the director chose to move on from that pretty quickly I thought.

We then move onto his wrestling career and man oh man did this guy do some hard living. There's a scene (some scenes were animated when Flair was telling stories, as this one was) where he describes his daily intake of booze. 10 beers and 5 mixed drinks everyday he worked. Well, he's a wrassler, and he worked everyday so he drank that amount EVERYDAY.


Well, hello new phone background. 

WWE Smackdown: AJ Hinders Jinder

Well.  That's certainly an improvement.


Last night on Smackdown, AJ Styles unseated WWE's worst Champion of all time (Yup, I'm goin' there), Jinder Mahal to not only capture the belt but take Jinder's spot in the Survivor Series main event against Brock Lesnar.  And thus we now potentially have a main event worth watching, provided Vince doesn't just book Lesnar to squash AJ.  What SHOULD happen at Survivor Series is Brock has a bitch of a time catching the lightning-quick Styles and is kept off balance for much of an 18-minute match, finally getting his XXXXL-gloved hands on AJ toward the end and lowering the boom.  I have zero problem with Brock beating AJ, but it's gotta look good and be a competitive match.  For the first time in a WWE ring we have two former IWGP Heavyweight Champions squaring off.  That in and of itself is quite something.  The match could be fantastic if they do it right.  Please do it right, Vince.  Throw us a frickin' bone here.....

There was another title change this week, as Cesaro & Sheamus regained the RAW tag belts from Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose.  I'm not crazy about this change unless it's to create a Shield match (more on that in a sec), as we now have yet another heel champion vs. heel champion match.  For 24 hours every title in the company was held by a heel.  Normally I'm fine with that scenario, but not if you're doing champion vs. champion matches in two weeks.  I really would've liked to see Owens & Zayn beat The Usos for the Smackdown belts and face Ambrose & Rollins, but that one's not in the cards. 

Instead what seems imminent to be added to the lineup is The Shield vs. The New Day.  At least that's what's being teased.  Should be a good match, but why not just add The Bar and The Usos (or better, KO & Sami) and make it another 5-on-5 elimination match?  There's no belts on the line anyway, so who cares?  I'd rather see a third Survivor Series match on the Survivor Series PPV.  Call me crazy, call me a pervert.  Anyway....

Next week's Smackdown will have two title matches that could further change the card.  This build has been the weirdest since the Russo era.  Baron Corbin is defending against Sin Cara - why are they pushing him again all of a sudden?? - but I won't be sad if Cara wins because a) it's makes a heel vs. face match at Survivor Series, and b) Miz vs. Sin Cara will be a helluva lot more fun than Miz vs. Corbin.  And Nattie is defending against Charlotte.  While I'd be sad to see Nattie's reign cut so short, Alexa vs. Charlotte is also a heel vs. face matchup and will probably get the crowd more engaged than Alexa vs. Nattie.  So both changes could be positives, and I assume Nattie would take Charlotte's place in the women's elimination match. 

If the Shield-New Day match gets added, Survivor Series will have an 8-match lineup.  Please tell me the Enzo-Kalisto match gets bumped to the pre-show then?  No one gives a shit about that one, and even for a four-hour show, eight matches is a lot when two of them are 5-on-5.  I'm guessing Owens and Zayn get involved in the men's elimination match and screw over Shane's team.  I'm also guessing Jinder gets added as the fifth man for Smackdown (Ugh)? 

Still so much up in the air for this show, considering it's in eleven days.  But at least we have a strong main event now.  More importantly, Jinder Mahal's Reign of Suck is finally over.  Let's keep it that way.



Thanks for reading!  Join us on Facebook HERE.




Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Movie Review: Jigsaw (2017)

by Dan Moore
@SouthieDanimal



All right, I've said A LOT about these movies in the last month. I had to re-watch 'em all just so I'd be good and prepared for the newest chapter, Jigsaw. So how does it compare to the rest of these flicks?

Eh. It's ok. It's a ton of the same shit that came before. And a lot more convulted-ed-ness (that's a word). John "Jigsaw" Kramer is dead...OR IS HE?!?!? A new group of shmucks are stuck in a new shithole trapped in a situation eerily similar to Jiggy's M.O. Is it him? Come back from the dead?!?!?

We're introduced to a buncha new characters. There's hard-boiled detective Halloran, his partner detective Hunt, medical examiners Logan and ginger Eleanor. And then the whole slew of folk trapped inside of Jigsaw's newest game. I'd tell you their names, but they're completely forgettable.

Our suspects, ladies & gentlemen. 


Without getting too spoilery, these people hafta atone for their past sins by having pieces of their body flayed off. It's fun! While they're all trapped up bleeding everywhere, the cops and the medical folk obviously start suspecting each other as being the new Saw dude because they're the only ones in the movie that could. So a buncha people get hacked up, no one learns a lesson and there's a twist ending with SOMEONE being a murderer type.

Did I like this one? I mean, I like them all, but this one kinda stunk. The problem with this particular episode is it's kinda obvious who's pulling the strings. At least in the other flicks I was sorta guessing what the plot twist was gonna be. When it happens here, it only confirmed my suspicions. There's a point in the movie where they make it quite obvious that the person doing the Saw'ing is the only possible one that could've manipulated everything into place. So without the surprise element, this one's lacking a fundamental Saw piece.

Monday, November 6, 2017

NJPW Power Struggle Review: JERICHO!!!!

Wow, what a show, both in terms of match quality (three ****+ matches to close the PPV by my calculation) and perhaps more significantly in terms of setting up WrestleKingdom 12.  NJPW Power Struggle is likely to be remembered at least as much for its post-match angles as for its matches, with Tokyo Dome bouts set up for the Jr. Tag belts (RPG3K vs. Young Bucks is sure to be spectacular), the Jr. belt (if you're doing a Fatal 4-way these are the four guys you want), the Intercontinental Title (the push seems a little sudden but I've been eagerly awaiting Jay White's return to the company), and one of the most earth-shattering announcements in New Japan history, Kenny Omega defending the US Title against Chris Jericho!


This is simply huge.  That an 18-year WWE veteran has jumped ship to New Japan indicates a potentially seismic shift in the industry the likes of which we haven't seen since WCW came knocking on Vince's door back in 1995.  For the first time since the Monday Night War, a very relevant WWE fixture has willingly decided to try his hand in a different company that currently has a major buzz around it.  For a wrestler at this stage of his career to yearn for a new challenge rather than taking the easy, reliable paycheck is remarkable, and it illustrates how much hotter the New Japan brand is right now than WWE (not to mention how committed Jericho is to reinventing himself).  NJPW is becoming the place where wrestlers go to improve their game.  WWE is where wrestlers go to make as much money as they can while they're still healthy.  What's also telling is the numerous New Japan/ROH talents who have declined WWE contracts like Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks, and the recent WWE departures like Austin Aries and Neville who asked for their WWE release.  Wrestlers are increasingly discovering they can make a good living and actually be used based on their strengths outside of WWE, rather than floundering in a company that doesn't seem interested in creating legitimate box office draws.  It's a truly exciting development and I can't wait to see both the Jericho-Omega match, and Jericho's post-Dome New Japan run.  I assume it'll be a 3-6 month tenure and then he'll go back on tour with Fozzy.  We could easily see him return to WWE at some point as well, but the fact that he chose to go somewhere else after repeatedly vowing never to wrestle for any other company speaks volumes of how hot New Japan is right now.   

Alright, moving on to the actual PPV.  Power Struggle was, in my estimation, New Japan's third-best show of 2017 (after WK11 and Dominion of course).  The undercard was a solid, consistently entertaining series of matches, and from the Jr. Tag Finals on we were treated to a variety of good-to-excellent bouts, concluding with, as I mentioned, three stupendous outings.

The Young Bucks returned to New Japan in the opening match to make fairly quick work of Titan and Dragon Lee.  It was a brief seven-minute encounter but a nicely executed, fun opener that re-established the Bucks as the division's team to beat.  No complaints there.

Next up were a pair of multi-man tags to keep the crowd feelin' good.  Suzuki-Gun took a quick dive against Juice Robinson's squad when Kushida tapped out Taka Michinoku.  Not much to that match but it was inoffensive and quick.  Then TenCozy and Togi Makabe had an enjoyable little match against the Bullet Club C-team when Kojima pinned Chase Owens. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

NJPW Power Struggle 2017 Preview & Predictions


Power Struggle is, barring the World Tag League, the final stop to the Tokyo Dome. After this, there are no more matches for the Big Four titles of New Japan, all the title matches for the Domewill be decided here, or soon after. The undercard is underwhelming, but the second half promises to be a rockin' outing. It's only a few days away, and Justin and I are running down just what's gonna happen in Osaka.




David Finlay vs. Katsuya Kitamura

Landon: This might end up being Kitamura's first win over a non-Young Lion in New Japan. There's obviously a tremendous upside to the rookie, but history tells that Finlay will pick up the win here.

Justin: Gotta stick with the non-rookie.  Should be a nice little match though.




Nick Jackson and Matt Jackson vs Dragon Lee and Titan

Landon: "We have nothing for the Young Bucks really, and we have the CMLL guys here still. So..." Young Bucks to win here, possibly to face SHO and YOH at the Tokyo Dome.

Justin: Bucks of Youth have to win here.  YB vs. RPG3K at the Dome.




Juice Robinson, Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask IV, Kushida, and Hirai Kawato vs Suzuki-Gun (Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Desperado, and TAKA Michinoku)

Landon: Something for the Suzuki-Gun Junior Brigade to do, and something for the Seiki-Gun to do. Kawato probably eats the fall, maybe from El Desperado

Justin: Yes, SG wins, if for no other reason than to keep ZSJ strong heading into the Dome.




Togi Makabe, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, and Satoshi Kojima vs. Bullet Club (Cody, Yujiro Takahashi, and Chase Owens)

Landon: This entire Undercard for this show is really weird. I guess the only thing that could come of this is Makabe pinning Chase. Whether that sets up for the NEVER Openweight title match against Suzuki I've been demanding for months, or even an ROH World Championship match, I don't know. I don't expect much.

Justin: Bullet Club so Cody looks strong.


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Fast & Furious Controversy: Tyrese Threatens To Quit

By B-Cuddy




[EDITOR'S NOTE I'll be honest, no one here at Enuffa gives a rat's ass about Tyrese or these movies. In fact, this is all just an excuse for B-Cuddy to bitch about these 8 (fucking EIGHT?!?!?) pieces of shit. Take it away, Cuddy.]

My wife loves these movies so I have had to sit through the last few of 'em. I still love her though cause I'm a helluva guy. Anyways, it's like the Olympics of bad acting. The stories are so over the top and nonsensical, that for any of those morons to think they're irreplaceable is laughable.


Here are the 5 worst performances from the two that I've watched.



5. The Rock


Seems like a nice guy but he has the emotional range of a can opener. Being on steroids has done his career wonders. I bet even Justin agrees with this. I'd ask him about it, but anytime the Rock gets brought up, you gotta wait a while until Justin cleans himself off.  (Editor's Note: Umm, that's Prof's gig).



4. Ludacris


How is he an actor? And how the fuck did he get cast as the nerdy tech guy?? It would be more believable if my aunt had this role, and she can barely turn the TV on. 


3. Tyrese


Sucks at singing, sucks at acting. He plays the "comic relief" and is always panicking for some reason or another. Which is odd because he continues to be part of a crew who's entire existence is based off high speed chases and explosions and I don't fucking know what else. Perhaps it is actually time for both he and his character to quit. Also, not a laugh to be had. But since he's taking his ball and going home, a spot has opened up. And if you want laughs, hire my man Pickles. He's an actor. (In theory). Just change it to an R-rated flick because there's gonna be a lot of colorful language. C-bombs like ya read about. 




2. Michelle Rodriguez




In one of these hunks of shit, this dame gets amnesia. FUCKING AMNESIA. Because when you get 8 deep into a movie franchise, you gotta break amnesia out at some point. I wish I had amnesia from watching her act. The only one who's worse is Vin himself (SPOILER ALERT!). Apparently Vin's character fancies himself a gal on his acting level, and someone who looks like him. No, seriously, they look similar. It's weird. 


1. Vin Diesel




First of all, what a preposterous asshole name. If a porn actor told a studio his name was Vin Diesel, they'd tell him to pick something less stupid. But i digress...

Maybe the worst actor I've ever seen. Its close between him and that kid who turned Darth Vader into a whiney bitch. From what I've gathered between these movies and his dodge commercial, his entire career is based of having a deep voice. And supposedly being bulky? Maybe that worked until the Rock showed up and cucked him into the next galaxy. AMIRITE, Jingles???!!!


I wish I was surprised these movies made money, but I mean, just look at the world we live in now. It's utter chaos. 



That's all for B-Cuddy.  Thanks for reading, and join our Facebook group HERE.


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

WWE RAW: The Return of Braun Super-Strowman

Sooo, Braun Strowman's totally fine then?  What a shock.  In yet another example of WWE stomping all over suspension of disbelief, Strowman has made a full recovery, only eight days after being crushed inside a garbage truck.  I'll repeat that - CRUSHED. INSIDE. A GARBAGE TRUCK.


Hey, remember that time Triple H got in a car and then Steve Austin picked it up with a crane and dropped it thirty feet, and it flipped over before hitting the ground, pancaking on impact?  And then Triple H showed up the very next night on RAW, barely injured?  Or the time The Rock was being carted away in an ambulance and Hulk Hogan rammed it with a semi truck?  And The Rock was basically fine the next night? 

Ya know what the problem is with angles like these?  If these guys are so indestructible that attempted vehicular homicide barely slows them down, what are they doing losing to plain ol' wrasslin' moves?  Braun Strowman has been involved in two angles like this, plus he's apparently strong enough to flip over an ambulance.  But one F-5 from Brock Lesnar puts him down?  Triple H can withstand being crushed under a car but a Seth Rollins Pedigree is too much for him?  Why should we ever invest in these matches when the company is calling attention to how unrealistic they are?

Furthermore, surely in a believable "universe" Kane and The Miz (and the truck driver) would face criminal charges for this incident, no?  They literally tried to murder Strowman by tossing him into a garbage compactor and turning it on.  Nothing?  Real-world laws don't apply in WWE?  Then why doesn't Kane just bring an AR-15 to the ring next time?  Plug 'em all fulla lead.  If you're going to incorporate attempted murder into a storyline, why not go all the way with it?


In other news, Kurt Angle will be wrestling again, as the captain of the RAW Survivor Series team, and it sounds like if he loses he's fired as the GM.  But since GMs are basically interchangeable, who gives a shit?  One would think Shane will be on the Smackdown team but since Randy Orton's already been named as the captain, it seems odd for Shane to be included.  Anyone else find it appallingly hypocritical that Angle and Shane have been cleared to wrestle but Daniel Bryan hasn't?  Shane's got his own history of concussions, no doubt exacerbated by the twenty-foot dives he frequently does, while Angle's body has absorbed insane levels of punishment over the last 20 years.  Bryan on the other hand has been cleared to wrestle by every doctor he's seen, except Joseph Maroon.  Ya know guys, I'm beginning to think Bryan's physical state has nothing to do with it.... 

Regardless, this match does have potential.  With Samoa Joe back in action it looks like Team RAW will likely include Angle, Joe, Brawn, Balor and maybe Reigns?  That there is a solid lineup.  Smackdown's isn't too shabby either, with Orton, AJ, Bobby Roode and probably Nakamura.  And I imagine Shane gets shoved down our throats again.  Question though - where does that leave Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, since they're the hottest act on Smackdown right now?  They can't seriously leave them off the card, can they?  Here's what I would do - have 'em win the tag belts from The Usos and go on to face Ambrose and Rollins at Survivor Series.  You'd have yourself a major show stealer.  But what do I know?

I predict this Survivor Series will be one of those half-good shows, where the good stuff is outstanding and the bad stuff is unwatchable. 


That's about all I got today - don't forget to join our Facebook group HERE to keep up with all Enuffa goings-on....




   

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Your Definitive Saw/Jigsaw Movie Guide

by Dan Moore
@SouthieDanimal



Hello. I want to play a game. The device you are reading is hooked into your brain. What follows is a half-assed sorta guide review thing summarizing all the Saw movies in anticipation of the newest installment of the series, Jigsaw, being released tomorrow. Here's what happens if you read this article.



There is only one way to read the device. It is with your eyes. Look around, internet consumer, and know that I'm not lying. You better hurry up. Read or die. Make your choice.

I am a huuuuuuuuuuge fan of these shitty, torture porn movies. The bad acting, the gory messes and the interlocking stories of all these flicks really get me going in the murder regions. As such, I cannot wait to go see the new one all alone, as no one I know will accompany me to this bullshit movie. Even Mrs. Danimal doesn't care. 


See?

I just re-watched all seven (7!!!) of 'em and here's some thoughts. (Obviously spoilers are ahead but come on. These movies are all the same. Capture. Torture. Kill. Implausible twist. Repeat) 


Saw: The one that kicked off the franchise has what is possibly the most ridiculous plot twist of the whole saga (and that's really saying something in a series filled with more and more improbable plot twists). The fact that John Kramer, Jigsaw himself, was laying on the floor of the murder basement where he was keeping Dr. Lawrence Gordon and Adam is absolutely absurd. Dude just laid there half naked in a puddle of fake blood for like 12 hours. Just insane. But I loved it. Still do (you can find my actual review of this classic HERE). 

You gotta move your arms eventually, right? I'm sore just looking at him. 


Saw II: Part 1 was essentially all a lead up to the reveal the Jigsaw was in the room the whole time. Part II really set up the plot of the rest of the series going forward. Donnie Wahlberg is a New Kid/Cop whose son gets kidnapped and thrown into a murder house, a huge upgrade over the murder basement in the previous installment. Eventually, Donnie done fucks up and is himself locked up into the murder basement, seemingly to perish for all time. This sets up what I consider to be the best element of the next three (3!!!) movies, the search for Donnie Wahlberg. That being said, part II was my least favorite of the films until a much later installment. The murder house is cool and all, but the characters in it are fucking TERRIBLE. There's a steroid freak in the house that realizes the combination they need for a safe are all written on the necks of his fellow kidnapped folk. Instead of telling them this so they can all work together to get out, he MURDERS them to read the back of their neck. Yeah, MURDERS THEM ALL. It makes zero sense. 

He's got nice form. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

WWE RAW: Survivor Bragging Rights Series 2017

Ya know, WWE is really screwing up this Survivor Series thing.  It was so simple and would've been so poetic, and as usual they got it all wrong.  The 2017 Survivor Series should be taking place on November 26th, not the 19th.  Why?  Because it's the 30th anniversary of the inaugural edition.  Come on Vince, get your head outta your ass.

But seriously folks, this show is shaping up to be yet another misfire on the WWE PPV calendar.  Last year's Survivor Series (Bragging Rights) was an unexpected gem, despite being built around a forced, completely phony RAW vs. Smackdown rivalry, plus a 90-second main event.  The reason it worked so well was the booking and execution of the three elimination matches, which comprised the vast majority of the PPV.  Survivor Series 2016 turned out to be, in my opinion, the best main roster show of the year.  Had they followed that same formula they could've potentially repeated that feat and delivered the best pair of back-to-back Survivor Series since the original two (The '87 and '88 editions are still two of my favorite all-time PPVs).  But as we found out last night, we'll be going back to the watered down version of the concept, with only two elimination matches and four Champion vs. Champion bouts, only one of which has much intrigue.

Jeezus, they might add this match too....

I've already talked HERE about how idiotic and terrible this Brock vs. Jinder (May-haul, according to Kurt Angle) match is gonna be.  This here is what you'd call a no-win situation.  Mahal is in no way qualified to hang with Brock and either guy jobbing to the other is bad for that guy's belt.  But let's look at the other three matches that have been announced:

Alexa Bliss vs. Natalya has potential to be a good in-ring contest, but with two heels fighting each other, who are the fans supposed to be rooting for?  Heel vs. heel matches almost never work from a crowd perspective.  They aren't invested in either participant, so they end up sitting on their hands the whole time and the match falls flat.  And women's matches lately have had a hard time keeping the live crowds attentive as it is, what with their often less-than-ideal placement on the show and main roster creative's complete ineptitude in presenting compelling feuds in that division (or any other for that matter) - look no further than Bayley's recent nosedive in popularity for example.  How do you make fans boo the most likable babyface on the roster?  Alexa vs. Nattie is a fresh matchup and both women are talented, but without anything to root for I don't see this going well.

The Miz vs. Baron Corbin.  You gotta be shitting me with this.  First off, see what I said above about heel vs. heel matches.  Now you're booking TWO of them on this show?  Miz is way over as a douchebag upper midcard heel.  Baron Corbin is not.  Which of these guys do you think the fans will be cheering here (if they cheer anyone at all)?  You're gonna have a guy with great "love to hate him" heat getting cheered against a guy with "go away" heat.  Not to mention The Miz's matches are only as good as his opponents.  Last year against Sami Zayn he had a solid outing, because Zayn is great, and The Miz's in-ring strength has always been his ability to follow the other guy's lead.  Corbin on the other hand is mostly Sycho Sid-bad in the ring.  If you think The Miz will be up to the challenge of pulling a great match out of him you're very much mistaken.  This is going to be piss-poor.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Guns N' Roses at TD Garden Boston

by Dan Moore
@SouthieDanimal

Last night was Sunday. The Lord's day. A school night. A day for rest. So I went out and got my face promptly rocked the FUCK off.


They're real. And they're spectacular. 

3/5 of Guns N' Roses have reunited for the Not In This Lifetime Tour and dear God can they still rock. Axl, Slash & Duff have returned in what I thought was a situation that would never occur. They're back and destroying eardrums all over the world.

Myself and my dear friend, Uncle Miggsy, sat and stood for a marathon 3 and a half hours as the gang blazed through their most iconic songs at decibels which I will never forget. The beginning of the set sounded a little iffy, as it appeared like Axl had lost some speed off his fastball. "Welcome to the Jungle" didn't sound as good as it should have vocally. But it's clear that Axl's chords just needed a little warming up because that bastard tore the house down after the first few songs.

After performing "Better", the only really great song of Chinese Democracy, they busted out the first of many "HOLY SHIT" songs with their version of "Live & Let Die". This is one of those covers that has really come to be known better by the band covering it, like "Hurt" is known more for Johnny Cash's version than Nine Inch Nails. And GNR killed it with this song. The place went absolutely BANANAS.


And so did this guy. He was ELECTRIC. 


They then busted into what I thought was one of two highlights of the show, "You Could Be Mine". As they played this song, behind them on the video screens were versions of the band members made to look like Terminators. It was very badass looking and I'm sorry you cannot see it for I took no pictures at this time, as it's impossible to focus while your eyeballs melt out of your face because of all the rock. 

They also covered "Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden. But they didn't really add much to it. It was an ok version of the song but basically pointless, I thought. They followed that up with incredible versions of their biggest hits. "Sweet Child of Mine". "I Used to Love Her". "Night Train". All the songs that I played repeatedly mostly on tape and then CD. Man, I'm old. 

The second highlight and easily the coolest part of the show was when a giant grand piano came out on the stage and Axl sat down to play it. They then burst into an absolutley incredible version of "November Rain". I have never really been a huge fan of this song but holy shit it sounded awesome live last night. There was nothing that could come close to that last night. It was the absolute peak. 

Seeing these guys back together and playing all the hits of my youth was an awesome sight. I had a blast and it seemed they did as well. Axl was playful with the crowd and Slash destroyed guitars as usual. I leave you with these final two thoughts about last night. 


Pros: GUNS N' FUCKIN' ROSES




Cons: Fuck you, TD Garden beer prices.